BARC battles changeable conditions at breathtaking Brands Hatch meeting

The British Automobile Racing Club battled changeable conditions to serve up a spectacular two days of track action this past weekend (May 11/12) at Brands Hatch, with a host of championships taking centre stage.

Marking the latest visit to the Kent venue by the Club, the Indy circuit saw treacherous rain and bright sunshine play its part over the course of both days, further spicing up the on-track action.

Following two events at Silverstone, the a bumper entry list in the Dunlop Endurance Championship produced two pulsating one-hour races. SB Race Engineering emerged as the team to beat during Saturday with the Ferrari 488 Challenge duo of Paul Bailey and Andy Schultz triumphing on both occasions.

Bailey and Schultz got the best of the conditions in race one to triumph more than half a minute ahead of Paul Rose, who ended the race as their nearest challengers. With the weather taking a turn for the better later in the day, the Ferrari pairing produced a similar level of dominance in race two.

Hitting the front early on, the duo made their escape out front and were ultimately never challenged, ultimately crossing the line by more than 40 seconds ahead of Lee Frost in his Ginetta G55.

The Michelin Clio Cup Series returned to action in style with three exciting races playing out around the 1.2 mile layout. Showcasing two generations of Clio machinery, the one-make category had those in attendance on the edge of their seats.

Simon Freeman, James Colburn and Nic Harrison claimed individual honours in their respective classes in the opening race before the trio did the same later in the day.

Amalgamating with the BARC Tin Tops Championship, the final race of the day – which wasn’t eligible for championship points – saw Tyler Lidsey end the weekend on the top step of the podium.

Garrie Whittaker continued to reign supreme in the Kumho BMW Championship as he extended his advantage at the summit of the multi-class standings. Having been the man to beat at both Oulton Park and Castle Combe, the E36 M3 driver showed no signs of letting up as adding to his silverware collection.

Lapping up to sixth place, Whittaker was unstoppable in race one as he scored his fifth win of the year, and he dually added to his tally later in the afternoon with another imperious drive. Whittaker then extended his winning streak with another dominant performance later in the day, scoring victory once more.

The Lancaster Insurance MG Owner’s Club Championship boasted a bumper 24-car grid and it too provided unmissable track action. Race one ended in dramatic fashion as leader Lee Sullivan saw his hopes of triumphing diminish following an engine failure, gifting William Sharpe and his MG ZR victory.

Simon Kendrick was the man to beat in the MGOC’s second race as he got the better of Steve Darbey and Mark Baker in his MG F VVC.

In the BARC Tin Tops Championship, Chris Whiteman and Terry Stephens claimed outright honours to top the rostrum.

Capping off the weekend’s action were several demonstration sessions from the SmarTrack Series Elite contingent. Two Jaguar Project 8 cars took to the circuit to give fans and potential competitors a flavour of what is come to from the series over the course of the forthcoming year.

For the full classification of results from all sessions at Brands Hatch, click here.